Today, I came off the NMC Nursing Register, having been registered on it for the last thirty three years. Although I retired from nursing a little over a year ago, I had retained my nursing registration as the pandemic was on-going and in case there was a need for me to return to nursing.
I leave behind me the ability and legal right to call myself a ‘registered nurse’ – and this brings with it mixed feelings.
Those thirty three years have gone by all too quickly. I think back to the earliest days of my nurse training, to the day I passed my final exams and then qualified, to my first full time post and then on to all the other posts which would follow later – most recently, when I became a specialist nurse for dementia back in 2004 and which I remained until I retired.
How many people I met over the course of those years! So many patients whose lives and experiences touched me so deeply and taught me so much; and so many good and noble colleagues whose light shone brightly and who taught me about humanity, dignity and compassion. Lessons I have not forgotten – nor will I.
To all those who were a part of my nursing journey – I am deeply and forever grateful to you all.